People are an integral part of any business. Any business that is revolving around people will be having a customer service team that caters to the needs of the customers like queries, doubts, and any other forms of assistance. A little empathy in customer service will take a business to great heights because even today, besides having many prospecting methods to reach new customers, word-of-mouth remains a stable source for bringing new customers to a business.
When a customer likes your product as well as your service and support, then chances are high they will recommend your product to others. Also, a sale will happen only when a customer feels your product will solve their business problems. For that, you need to think from their viewpoint, empathize and explain how their pain points will be addressed. In this article, let’s discuss what is empathy in customer service and what are the elements the empathy map should contain.
Sympathy vs Empathy in Sales
These two terms are often confused with each other. First, let’s see the difference in meaning. Sympathy is feeling sorry or pitying for someone’s sorrow or bad luck whereas empathy is understanding someone’s pain points and being able to feel in their shoes. As far as sales are concerned, you need empathy, not sympathy for sure.
In a customer service environment, empathy is something you definitely need to build trust and lasting relationships with your customers. People always remember how you treat them. So, if you genuinely care about customer retention, you need to develop the quality of empathy.
How does empathy lead to success? – An example
There is a quote by Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack & co-founder of Flickr, that explains the importance of empathy,
“It’s very difficult to design something for someone if you have no empathy”
How true, isn’t it?
We all know how Slack simplifies team messaging and business communication. The product was successful only because it was built with a perspective to solve the employee’s communication problems. Similarly, there are so many successful products that prove the significance of empathy in customer service and sales.
The Role Of Empathy In Sales
As a business owner, you built a product/service. The next step is marketing. Before you start this step, you need to figure out what are the problems that you focussed on while building the product and how to highlight them in your marketing and sales strategies.
Here are the 5 ways you can show empathy to your prospects and make a sale happen:
1. Addressing their pain points
Thinking from your ideal customer’s perspective will help you to understand the obstacles they face in their business. Before you pitch about your company’s product, talk about their problems. Once the prospect feels comfortable that you understand their problem well, they will trust that you can solve their problem. Use some empathy statements like,
“I know, I can understand …”
“I agree, I can help with…”
“It’s really tough without…”
“In future, you may find it difficult to…”, etc to show that you can relate to their problems and you can help them.
2. Always Listen & Clarify
A good listener can be a good salesman. Yes, in sales, listening is a very crucial skill that needs patience and effort. Only a few salespeople have this quality. Allow your prospect to speak, listen to them carefully, and then start clarifying their doubts and queries. Listening is a form of respect you give to the speaker. Giving that to your prospect earns you and your brand a good reputation. In the book “The Essential Guide to Business Etiquette” by Lillian H. Chaney, Jeanette S. Martin explains how good manners and interpersonal skills can help your personal and professional success.
3. Use questions wisely
Once you connect with your prospect, ask relevant questions that add advantage to your sales pitch. For example, if you are selling a sales employee tracking app, ask your prospect, “So how is everything going with your sales team?”,” Is it easy for you to manage their performance?”, “What are the challenges you face with your sales team?” etc can help you find the answer that you seek for. Empathy will give you a closer look at your customer’s problems.
4. Connect with your prospects
In today’s digital world, where a major part of selling has become online, you have to find ways to connect with your prospects well. As a salesperson, it is your responsibility to make them comfortable talking to you. For example, if your prospect is getting on a demo call with you, make sure to connect with your video. Greet them and have a quick casual conversation and then proceed with your product details. Also, you can pause and ask if they have any questions to avoid monotonicity and keep them engaged. These are simple examples of how empathy can elevate your sales.
5. Retain their trust till the end
Once a sale happens and your customer starts using your product/service, they may face some practical difficulties and take time to accommodate the new product. Here is where your customer service team needs to do regular follow-ups till they become convenient and settled with the product. Empathy in customer service is not a one-day job but a long process of retaining the customer’s trust in your product till the end.
Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You may have a good product, and a perfect sales pitch, but until you empathize and relate with them, you may keep missing deals. Using a few empathy statements will change your customer’s perspective of you as well as your product. Follow the above ways to be successful in your sales career.